Gents: I've been mulling over getting a milling machine for some time and have never pulled the trigger. But I'm about ready to start seriously shopping.
Basic question: what is the smallest, most cost effective milling machine out there with the envelope and stiffness to do a 1911 out of stainless? I want to do a whole variety of projects, most not firearms related. But the stainless 1911 is to my current understanding the most "demanding" of the projects I have in mind from the perspective of plunge depth, stiffness, envelope etc.
Prefer a machine that is amenable to later CNC modification. STRONGLY prefer a bench top machine as shop space is ridiculously tight. Have a lathe (12 x 36 1944 Atlas/Craftsman).